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Poetry — Feet

Foot
The unit of rhyme in verse

Iamb
A foot consisting of an unaccented syllable and an accented. It is the most common rhythm in English verse.

Trochee
A foot consisting of an accented and an unaccented syllable.

Choree
Obsolete equivalent of Trochee; now preserved only in Choriambus

Spondee
A foot composed of two accented syllables.

Pyrrhic or Dibrach
(2) A foot of two unaccented syllables

Dipody
A measure consisting of two metrical feet, usually slightly different

Triple Meter
Feet with three syllables

Dactyl
A foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented as in “mannequin”

Anapest
A metrical foot consisting of three syllables, with two unaccented sylllables followed by an accented one.

Amphibrach
Metrical foot consisting of three syllables, the first and last unaccented, the second accented.

Amphimacer
A metrical foot consisting of three syllables, the first and last accented, the second unnacented.

Tribrach
A foot of three short or unstressed syllables

Bacchius
A three-syllable foot usually defined quantitatively as a short followed by two longs or qualitatively as a weak followed by two strongs.

Antibacchius
A metrical foot of three syllables, of which the first two are stressed and the third unstressed, or the first two are long and the third short.

Choriambus
A foot in which two accented syllables flank two unaccented syllables

Paeon
A foot consisting of one long or stressed syllable and three short or unstressed syllables.

Ionic
A classical foot with two long and two short syllables

Galliambic
Four Four-syllable feet in this order: pyrrich and trochee, trochee and spondee, pyrrhic and trochee, pyrrhic and pyrrich or iamb.

Equivalence, Substitution
A term for the use of one kind of foot in place of that normally demanded byt the pattern of a verse, as a trochee for an iamb, etc.

Compensation
A means of making up for omissions in a line, usually with a pause.

Scansion
A system for describing conventional rhyhms by dividing lines into feet, indicating the locations of accents and counting the syllables.

Scazon, Choliamb
The deliberate reversal of an iamb. This rare and delicate effect occurs at the end of a line when a trochee or dactyl takes to place of the iamb or anapest that the ear has been conditioned to expect.

Syzygy
Two coupled feet serving as a unit. Also, consonant sounds at the end of one word and the beginning of another than cane be spoken together easily.

Sesquipedalian
Literally “a foot and a half” used for a style unduly and pretentiously polysyllablic.

Catalexis
Incompleteness of the last foot of a line; truncation by omission of one or two final syllables; the opposite of Anacrusis.

Brachycatalexis
Catalexis of two syllables.

Headless Line
A line from which an unstressed syllable has been dropped at the beginning.

Acatalectic
metrically complete; applied to lines that carry out the basic metrical and rhythmic patterns of a poem.

Hypercatalectic
A line with an extra syllable at the end.

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